Storage and Backups

20 January 2020 — Written by Avery


Where are you storing your files these days? Do you have the same files on several different devices? Have you made changes to these files so that a version on your iPad is different than the version on your desktop, etc.?

Are the changes getting away from you so you can't remember which version of a document is on your laptop, phone, or in the cloud? Would you like to standardize everything with a central repository?

Here's what I can do:

  • Centralize files - keep one copy and version on all your devices, using one of the following solutionss:

    • A File Server
    • Network Attached Storage (NAS)
    • A sync program
    • Cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.)
  • Note, for all of the above (except cloud storage) look into a solution that uses a checksumming (hard-to-corrupt) file system like ZFS

What will work best for you depends on what your particular needs are, your level of committment, and (importantly) your discipline to create and adhere to save location policy (read: staying organized!).

Backups are sexy


After you have a decent place to store your files, how about keeping some backups? After all, you never know when one of your computers is going to kick the bucket. Do you want it to take all your priceless, irretrievable data with it? Your tax documents, your financial budgets, your cat photos?

  • I can help you:

    • Create drive images to restore computers to their previous state (in case of hard drive failure)
    • Create document and photo backups (in case you accidentally delete something important and need to get it back)
    • Create file versioning / file history (liked a previous edit of that document or picture, but already save over it and can't go back?)

Most people who use computers/mobile devices have a need for every one of these solutions at some point in their life. If you don't want to be caught with your pants down when any one (or all) of these scenarios happen to you, let me know.

I threw out a bunch of terms in this page, so how about some short definition videos for people who are interested in learning more?

Why should you perform backups:

What is ZFS? Why use it?

Why clone your hard drive? What is a drive image?